Viet Nam News *Supalak Ganjanakhundee Rhetoric has come full circle in the dispute over the South China Sea but can the Philippines, the current chair of Asean and a claimant state, deliver a peaceful solution for the area? So far, there is little to see apart from wishful thinking from Manila as it pledges to conclude the Code of Conduct (CoC) for the South China Sea by the end of this year. A joint working group of officials from China and Asean have agreed on a set a series of meetings to speed up the work towards creating an international legal instrument that would control the behaviour of the signatories in the contentious sea. But their actions reveal a different mindset. China and many countries in Southeast Asia have had territorial conflicts over the sea for several decades. China, however, asserted itself and occupied the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos in the 1970s and 1980s respectively. In addition to China, its rival Taiwan as well as Asean countries Brunei, … [Read more...] about Wishful thinking on Code of Conduct for South China Sea – Opinion – Vietnam News Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports
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An international tribunal on Tuesday ruled against China in a bitter row over territorial claims to the South China Sea that is likely to ratchet up regional tensions. "The tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights within the sea areas falling within the 'nine-dash line'," the Permanent Court of Arbitration said in a statement. All eyes were watching for reaction from the Asian political and military powerhouse, which had fired off a barrage of criticism even before the decision by the PCA in The Hague was announced. China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the strategically vital waters in the face of rival claims from its Southeast Asian neighbours. Manila had lodged the suit against Beijing in 2013, saying that after 17 years of negotiations it had exhausted all political and diplomatic avenues. Beijing waged a months-long campaign to discredit the panel, which it says has no jurisdiction in the multinational dispute, and it refused to … [Read more...] about Tribunal rules against Beijing in South China Sea dispute
Vietnam, Ted Osius (C) speaks to the media at a bilateral conference at the Government Guesthouse in Hanoi January 26, 2015. The conference is organized as part of the 20th anniversary of the normalization relations between two former foes of the Vietnam War, which killed about three millions Vietnamese people and more than 58 thousand US servicemen. Photo credit: Reuters American President Barack Obama might have trouble imagining that, far from his home country, he is being lionized in a way that might make North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un blush. "We love you so much, Mr. Obama!" a reader commented on a piece published Monday by VnExpress, perhaps Vietnam’s most read online newspaper. "If I could vote for you to become the president of the world, I would do so." That comment appeared in an avalanche of praise that followed the release of CNN's exclusive interview with Obama last weekend. The following snippet inspired VnExpress to translate a small portion of his talk … [Read more...] about Obama’s tough talk on China sparks jubilation in Vietnam
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should act together in terms of a common approach to China and should pursue a harder approach on the East Sea to push through a Code of Conduct, said a Singapore scholar. In an interview to Vietnam News Agency’s Singapore-based reporter, Dr William Choong, senior fellow of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) – Asia, said that China’s sending its 1 billion USD oil rig to Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone “was the move that was calculated” and “was carefully planned”. A China’s ship (R) firing water cannon at a Vietnam’s fisheries surveillance ship. Photo: vnexpress.net He added, together with China’s moves relating to the Scarborough Shoal, which is disputed by the Philippines, and sending ships down the East Sea and very close to James Shoal, which is in Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone, this year’s oil rig deployment in … [Read more...] about ASEAN should pursue harder approach to China: Singaporean scholar
China has not ceased upping the ante in the East Sea despite the US' words of support for its smaller neighbors, a gesture that has drawn great anticipation in Vietnam China has begun building a school on an island that it took from Vietnam illegally by force in 1974, two years after establishing a frontier settlement there to administer most of what the rest of the world calls the South China Sea. The Philippines said over the weekend that it had lodged a protest with Beijing for seizing a disputed reef on the Spratly Islands--the fourth such complaint Manila has filed in three months as Beijing continues to pursue its controversial claim to nearly all of the resources in the oil-rich waters Vietnam calls the East Sea. China's relentless, unilateral efforts in recent months to stake out its claims have continued to stoke tensions in the region, leaving smaller neighbors -- particularly Vietnam and the Philippines -- increasingly hopeful that the US will reinvigorate its military … [Read more...] about How pivotal is the US ‘pivot’ to the East Sea dispute?